Out of the Box: How Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes lead to other projects

One small box can start a chain of transformation!

One small box can start a chain of transformation!

Just over a year ago, Operation Christmas Child delivered shoeboxes to the children of Bonanamo, a coastal fishing village in Papua New Guinea. Amidst the beautiful palm trees and white sand beach of Bonanamo, daily life was far from easy. Villagers had little or no access to safe drinking water and were constantly at risk of sickness and even death from drinking dirty water.

As a result of the shoebox distribution, in the past year Living Light Gospel Church, our partner in Papua New Guinea, has built five wells in Bonanamo and today, the entire village has access to safe water!

In December, Samaritan’s Purse staff travelled to the village for the official opening ceremony of the wells. While we were there, we spoke with a village aunty whose sister had died from tuberculosis just a few months before, leaving the aunty as the sole caretaker of her three young children. These five new wells meant she would have safe water for all of her children!

For the opening ceremony, the people of Bonanamo prepared food and organised a formal celebration with dancing from the children and speeches from the village elders. Packs of tools and instruction manuals for maintaining the wells were presented to the leaders of the village by our partner. The Foursquare Church also gave two cooking ovens to the community. These will help the people safely prepare food and will provide a source of income as they can bake and sell bread and other food.

A village transformed by life-giving water - thanks to you!

A village transformed by life-giving water – thanks to you!

When it was time to officially open the wells, we gathered around one of the wells that was surrounded by a fence made from branches. The fence was hacked open with a jungle knife and the wells were declared open! Everyone clapped and cheered as the water flowed from the new well.

Today, the people of Bonanamo have safe water to drink. But more importantly, they have a new beginning. Thanks to your support these villagers have full access to safe drinking water.

The people of Bonanamo now have safe drinking water. But there are still millions of people in the developing world without access to safe water. Please visit our website to see how you can be involved in the ‘Turn on the Tap’ campaign to provide safe water to those in need. Your support is vital!

Operation Christmas Child